The Riga Latvian Society’s Men Choir
Artistic leader and leading conductor Edgars Raèevskis
The choir was founded on March 1, 1997, and in a short period it became a strong artistic group. Popularizing men song and the choir (also with an intention to gather new singers), during these years have been given concerts in different Latvian regions. They gave results, and, in the beginning, the choir has more than 100 participants from Riga, Talsi, Liepâja, Gulbene, Alûksne, Madona, Cçsis, Brocçni, etc.
The choir gave its first concert on May 15, 1997. In April, 1998 the choir won the 1st degree’s diploma in the General Latvian Song Festival’s Riga City’s choirs’ contest. Then came the recognition also in the international level: in 1999 in Germany, Polheim in F. Mendelszon’s Bartoldi international contest was obtained the Golden (polyphonic music’s programme) and Silver medals (folk music’s programme), after year in Austria, Linz – in the 1st world’s choirs’ Olympiad – two Silver medals (polyphonic and folk music’s a capella interpretation’s categories). In this large event participated 370 choirs with 18 000 participants from 60 countries. At the same year the choir gave concert in Hannover, Germany in the world’s exhibition EXPO 2000, in Hamburg, participating in F. Mendelszon’s Bartoldi 2d symphony’s Lobgesang (op. 52) performance together with chamber orchestra Hamburger Camerata, as well as performed in Hambourg’s churches.
Complimentary references the choir has received after the concerts in Estonia and Finland. The choir participates regularly in concerts and public worships in Riga Cathedral, Luther's, Anglican and other Latvian churches, sings in State’s festive concerts and in other important for state and society events – in Riga Cemetery of the Brethren, Lacplesis Day’s and Oskars Kalpaks’ memory events in many places in Latvia. During the celebration of Riga’s 800th birthday, the choir participated in the dedication programme “Adornment of songs to Riga” together with the most outstanding men and women choirs. The programme was devoted to the 55 years of the first exile’s Song Festival (1947, Eslingen, Germany), and the concert took place in the Riga Latvian Society’s Big Hall on July 7, 2002. The choir has participated in the Baltic and Nordic countries’ men choirs’ festival in Tallin, Estonia; has given concerts to the II and III World’s Latvian societies’ conference delegates, during the jubilees of the Maestro Edgars Raèevskis, when he presented his interesting choir songs. The choir has been the first performer and participant of different author concerts of several composers – Alvils Altmanis, Leons Amoliòð, Pçteris Barisons, Jânis Dreimanis, Romualds Jermaks, Juris Karlsons, Lçvi Madetojs, Ingmars Zemzars, and others. The choir participates in all General Latvian Song Festivals, “choir wars” and different state’s choir contests, always obtaining award-winning places. Men choir’s voices have sounded in men choirs’ Singing Festival in Mazsalaca, Tukums, regional Song Festivals in Saldus, Dikïi, Madona, Turlava, Song Days in Latvian towns, J.Vîtols’ Music Days in Gaujiena and in other different important thematic events in our countries’ and abroad (Finland, Estonia, Canada, Japan) choir concerts.
In the choir’s repertoire: Latvian composers’ original compositions and folk songs’ arrangements, Latvian temporary composers’ compositions and folk songs’ arrangements, abroad composers’ original works and folk song arrangements, opera’s choirs, sacred music, various nations’ composers’ big forms’ vocally instrumental compositions, as well as Christmas songs.